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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Teen Vogue:Things Black Girls are Tired of Hearing ft. Amandla Stenberg


I have never heard many of these statements. I've had braids, weaves, wigs, my natural hair up to my chin and now down my back. People have thought I many be of more than one ethnicity and no one has ever measured my nose. People have called me "pretty" just pretty. So I cannot relate to most of the comments and I ain't a kid. My teen years are long gone. But the few comments I have heard came from black people which I'm going to assume were not the audience to whom the speakers of this video were addressing. I have a story. I had a black guy see me through the salon window, come into the salon, inquire about my marital status and asked me if I was mixed all while the stylist is blowing my hair out. I said no. He said I had to be mixed "with something" because and I quote, "Black women don't have hair like that." "Fool, didn't I just tell you I wasn't mixed?!"
I thought to myself. Wow.

Anyway, curiosity about the variety of beautiful, versatile hair textures on black women (note I didn't say "black hair") is not a bad thing in my opinion. Some white people have not experienced this type of diversity in their environments. It's like when we were kids. If you are a black woman, you can remember touching your white friend's hair out of curiosity. I know I do. There are white kids who may not have known any black kids growing up so there is a curiosity. When they get to high school or college they might feel more comfortable asking their non-white friend's about matters in their life. Including their hair. That's nothing to get so defensive about. If you are in a position to let a non-black person who you know (or a perfect stranger if you can handle that) touch your hair, I think you should. So the next time they hear ignorance about a black person's hair from other friends or family they can say, "No, my black friend so-and-so's hair is (fill in the blank)." That's how we learn. And by the way, afros are awesome! Who wouldn't want to touch them? I still touch them when I find them. And you do know white people can have afros too right?

I remember a black woman telling me that a white hair stylist wanted to know if she could do her hair so she could learn how to do other textures and cater to a more diverse clientele. The black woman got offended. I thought that was dumb.

I would post the video of Chael Sonnen (white man) asking Sage Steele (black woman with curly hair) if he could touch her hair but the title is too crude for my taste. But here's the summary, she leaned across the table, he touched it and was amazed at how soft it was and they went on with their interview. Ignorance annihilated. You can check it out on Youtube if you want.

And this thing about men not liking curly hair is not exclusive to "race." Patti Stanger tells her clients of every shade, (white and Latin included) that some men, of every shade, prefer straight hair because they can run their fingers through it. Other men have grown accustomed to the fact that with some women, it just ain't gonna happen and go on with their existence. So it's up to you whether or not you give two craps about that. But many, dare I say most, women of every shade can find those who straighten their hair. Even *gasp* white, Asian, and Latin ones. Ever heard of Japanese straighteners?

One of my biggest problems in dealing with negative "race" relations is when people, black, white, Latin, Asian, Pacific Islander, or multi-ethnic, don't take a minute to put themselves in someone else's shoes. Too many people make it seem like it's so hard to see (or even imagine) things from another person's perspective. It's not that difficult. Think.

Things Black Girls are Tired of Hearing ft. Amandla Stenberg
https://youtu.be/mOHV50joSSg

Sincerely,
Helen Willis, The Zebress

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